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tv   State of the Union  CNN  September 30, 2012 9:00am-10:00am PDT

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arrested for preaching fiery sermons at a mosque on the anniversary of september 11. the bbc said that discussion should have remained private and apologized. that's it for this edition of reliable sources. if you miss any part of this, go to itunes monday, check out the podca podcast. in the nonfiction tv part of the i store. state of the union with candy crowley begins now. 37 days left, romney's chance to shake things up may come down to four and a half hours. today this week's denver debate. the first of three 90-minute faceoffs. obama versus romney. >> how is it that you're the expert on my position when my position has been very clear? i'll tell you -- >> i'm the expert.
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i'm the expert, and i'm -- >> when he suggests that senator obama's plan is dangerous -- >> that's not the case. what he said was a precipitous withdrawal would be dangerous. he did not say -- >> he said -- >> sizing up the showdown with a candidates, republican senator john mccain, and then the risk of being the frontrunner with obama's senior advisor david axelrod. die secretarying the campaign message. plus, polls, ads, and early voting. with republican strategist alex castellanos, and cinda lake and congressional correspondent dana bash. i'm candy crowley. this is "state of the union." it would not be debate season if the political world and the campaigns didn't play the expectations game. >> the president is obviously a very eloquent, gifted speaker. he will do just fine. >> the president's campaign
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manager jim mecina called romney a very skilled debater and in an open memo to interested parties, senior advisor david axelrod just as he was in the primaries, we expect mitt romney to be a prepared, disciplined, and aggressive debater. joining me now is someone who knows a thing or two about expectations and debates, republican senator john mccain. a little trip down memory lane there. you smiled during it, i thought that was interesting. you debated both. size up the debate. >> i think it will be excellent. i think both candidates are well prepared, and understandably, you'll see their sur gats lowering expectations. i don't know how our guy will compete, and that's part of the whole routine. >> who is the tougher debater? >> i think both are excellent in their own way. i think you could argue that mitt has had a lot more recent experience, obviously, but also, candy, part of it depends on who is moderating. >> oh, thanks.
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>> i don't want to put any pressure on you, but the tenor of the questions and all that are dictated. second of all, i think sometimes we expect a major breakthrough, you know, a comment. that doesn't happen very often. it happened with reagan and mondale. it happened with reagan and carter, but frankly, i can't remember the last time there was one of these comments that grabbed everybody's attention because, frankly, the candidates are too well prepared. they're well scripted. i guarantee you if i was in that debate, i would know seven of the n questions you're going to ask because they're the obvious. the ones you have to ask. so i think they're going to be excellent. i think they're good for america. i wish -- i'm not saying i approve of the moderators. >> no, no, don't do that, for heavens sakes. >> the fact is they are important and becoming more and more important part of the political scene. look at the primary debates, how
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it got the attention of the american people. i think you're going to see more viewers the first debate than you have in history. >> wow. let me ask you about the romney campaign in general. something that charles krouthammer wrote on friday caught our attention. he wrote in part for six months he has been matching obama small ball for small ball. a hit-and-run critique here. slogan of the week there. his only momentum came when he chose paul ryan and seemed ready to engage on the big stuff. medicare, entitlements, tax reform, national solvency, a restructured welfare state. he has since retreated to the small and safe and when you're behind, how far, safe is fatal. >> i don't think so. i think he has been running a very vigorous campaign. i think most people approve of his selection of paul ryan. it's tough. it's very difficult. >> why is he behind? >> i think he is behind because americans probably feel better
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than they did before jobs and the economy even though it's terrible. it's sort of the -- >> right track, wrong track? that's interesting. tell me. just stretch that out a little bit. >> i think americans see a glimmer of hope. there is slight improvement in the economy, and i think that some people, for example, a state like ohio, battleground state, thanks in my view to the governor that the unemployment is down. that's true in some of the others. i understand how tough this campaign is. i do believe that media coverage has something to do with it. but that is what it is. i think most americans will still be making up their minds after the debates and maybe right up to election day. >> let me turn attention to overseas, i know there are some things that concern you. but let mee first ask you about libya, the deaths of those four americans, including the american ambassador to libya on september 11th. friday we got the administration sort of definitive statement this looks as though it was a preplanned attack by a terrorist
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group and some of whom were sympathetic to al qaeda. why do you think and are you bothered that it has taken them this long from september 11th to now to get to this conclusion? >> i think it interferes with the depiction that the administration is trying to convey that al qaeda is on the wane, that everything is fine in the middle east. >> you think it's political? >> i think there are certain political overtones. how else -- how else could you trot out our u.n. ambassador to say this was a spontaneous demonstration. >> maybe he thought that at the time. >> five days later? that doesn't pass the smell test. it was either willful ignorance or abysmal intelligence to think that people come to spontaneous demonstrations with heavy mortars and the attack goes on for hours, and there were warnings, as you know, because cnn put out part of chris stevens' diary. things are going south all over the world.
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look at this morning in iraq. we've got a miserable failure in iraq. it's unraveling. afghanistan, more insider killings, because this president doesn't believe in american exceptionalism and keeps telling people we're leaving. have you ever heard him say victory? finally he said something about syria, but now we're going to give them communications equipment, which does very well against attack airplanes and helicopters and artillery and tanks. >> you're being sarcastic here. you want to give more? >> of course, we need to arm them. the iranians have admitted that they're on the ground. russian arms are flowing in. iranian planes are flying over iraq as we speak. >> do you think there's a conflict? do you think we need to add to it? >> i think the role of america is to lead, not follow. by the way, we blame it on the video, and it shows the absolute inept tud and ignorance of the realities. >> they were blaming the protests against the american embassy and the deaths, in fact -- >> it's the not videos. it's the radical islamists that are pushing the videos which are then spreading throughout the muslim world.
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to blame the videos is like blaming a killer, the gun rather than the person who is pulling the trigger. >> in some ways isn't libya a bit of a cautionary tale for syria in this way? we certainly regardless of whether you thought we were in libya enough or we were leading enough in libya, the u.s. certainly had a part in overturning a dictator, muammar gadhafi, and now we have a situation where the fbi, we are told, won't even go to benghazi, which was the seat of the rebel which was the seat of the rebel the folks that we supported because it's so dangerous there, so they're investigate this from a tripoli, which is 400 miles away. what does that tell you, a -- >> thousands of libyans demonstrated. they went after these militia extremists which are al qaeda-affiliated themselves. the united states is more popular in libya than any country in the arab world, but they need help. after it was over, did we give them the assistance they needed? no.
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their borders are porous. al qaeda is coming in. they don't have a strong government. they have a people that like the united states of america. in afghanistan we are having americans killed by "insiders." >> the troops that we're training. >> yeah. >> forces we are training in uniform. they just inflicted the greatest damage on kandahar since the tet offensive. they blew up irreplaceable aircraft, and it's because the president has consistently overruled the recommendations of his military advisors. the chickens are coming home to roost, and the president won't even talk about it. >> let me ask you two quick questions. one of them i just want to say cnn did not put out the ambassador's diary. we did a report off of it. i want to make that clear to our viewers. >> by the way, i don't have a problem with that. the reason why the administration objected so vigorously because what was in what cnn reported. since when are we not going to publish materials that probably
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would compromise to our enemies. >> let me ask you, peter king has called for ambassador rice to resign. do you agree? >> i they she's the messenger. i mean, for her to come out and say what she said, obviously, was total ignorance of the facts on the ground, which, by the way, is five days later. five days went by. we have reports now that intelligence people knew within 24 hours this was a terrorist attack, and yet they send her out to say things that were absolutely false and continued to do so, which is again, really either as i say willful ignorance or abysmal lack of of knowledge of the facts. >> senator reid put out a statement yesterday where he called it sad and disappointing that some people seem more focused on trying this score cheap political points off when this intelligence information came than mourning the loss of the ambassador and thether three. >> maybe senator reid doesn't care about christopher stevens.
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maybe he doesn't care about those three other brave americans. >> you know he does, though? >> well, to make a statement like that, of course, politicizes an issue that all americans should be concerned about what information there was. and what caused his death, every american, no matter whether democrat or republican. he is the one that's taking the cheap political shot. >> senator john mccain, good to have you here. >> thank you. team romney says the president's campaign is spiking the ball on the 30 yard line, so which is it? is the president's team overly confident, or overly cautious? obama's senior advisor david axelrod is here next. [ female announcer ] ordinary lotions aren't made to treat eczema,
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i am joined by a senior advisor david axelrod. i want to pick up on what john mccain and i were talking about. there's back and forth now about why did this administration -- why did it take them until friday after a september 11th attack in libya to come to the conclusion that it was premeditated and that it was terrorist-involved. john mccain said it doesn't pass the smell test or it's willful ignorance to think that they didn't know before this what was going on. your reaction? >> well, first of all, candy, as you know, the president called it an act of terror the day after it happened, but when you're the responsible party,
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when you're the administration and you have a responsibility to act on what you know and what the intelligence community believes, this was -- this is being thoroughly investigated. >> first they said it wasn't planned, it was part of this tape. >> as a director of national intelligence said on friday, that was the original information that was given to us. what we don't need is a president or administration that shoots first and asks questions later. >> but is that what happened? >> governor romney leaked on this issue the first day and was terribly mistaken about what he said. that is not what you want in a president of the united states, whom i have great respect, he has disapproved of our approach to libya from the beginning, including the strategy that brought gadhafi to justice. >> this is not the approach to
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libya but the murder of four americans in libya, and didn't the administration shoot first? didn't they come out and say, listen, as far as we can tell, this wasn't preplanned, this is just a part of -- >> at this point this is what we know and we are thoroughly investigating. that's exactly what you should do. that's what the responsible thing to do is. i was kind of shocked to see representative king attack ambassador rice for what she said last sunday here, and she was acting on the intelligence that was given to her by the intelligence community. to say she should resign, she is one of the most remarkable, splendid public servants we have. that's thoroughly irresponsible. >> let's move on the obama campaign and where we are kicking off the fall. i was -- one of the things i wanted to repeat to you is something ed rendell, former pennsylvania governor, a democrat, said about your campaign. the only reason they're up anyway is not because of anything great they did on offense or defense, but because the other side keeps making mistakes. the implosion has had nothing to do with the obama campaign really, so they can't afford to lay back at all or it will depress turnout. his point was you all are being
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entirely too cautious. >> i don't think that's true. i appreciate governor rendell. the fact is we've had a strategy that we've executed from the beginning. i think it's been effective. ultimately, we're ahead because the american people -- we're ahead, candy, because the american people believe that this president has many his mind and in his heart the middle class and how to rebuild an economy that works for the middle class in this country and that is fundamental in what they're looking for. i hope in this debate that's what we talk about. >> do you really think that americans believe that? if you look at right track, wrong track, many believe we're on the wrong track. many more believe that the economy is in a bad condition right now than in a good condition. isn't this more of what ed rendell is suggesting? >> i can quote polling statist -- statistics as you can quote polling statistics. by a huge margin people think this president is advocating for the middle class by a huge margin they think he is working for an economy that will work for the middle class.
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i think that they made a conclusion on this and that's the reason that we're ahead in this race. >> how do you think a second term will be different? it's clear that americans are generally not happy with the economy. you all say you're not happy with the economy at this point. what is different about a second term president obama than a first term? >> well, you are absolutely right. the president is not satisfied. we've come a long way from when we were losing 800,000 jobs a month in january of 2009 when he took office. we've now created five million private sector jobs. we're net positive in terms of jobs. the hole is huge, and we have to not only fill that hole, but create an economy in which the middle class has a chance, and candy, we're not going to get there by going back to the same policies we've had before. >> how are we going to get there? >> we're going to do it by responsibly dealing with these deficits while leaving money to invest and those things we need to grow -- education, research and development, clean energy technology. >> those aren't sort of specific proposals. what i'm asking you is --
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>> let's talk about -- >> they haven't passed. >> 100,000 new math and science teachers. we need that to moveorward as a country. >> that's a goal though, right? >> educating, training two million new workers in our community colleges in conjunction with business to fill jobs that are open right now. boosting american manufacturing by ending the tax break that sends jobs overseas and giving tax incentives to companies that start manufacturing businesses here. these are specific tangible proposals and, candy, i believe that they will pass because i believe the american people are supportive of that. >> but they haven't passed. >> a jury will render verdict november 6th. >> no, they haven't. >> for two years jobs -- >> some of the specific proposals haven't, but, candy, think about the logical extension of what you're saying. what you're saying is so we select the other guy because he will implement the proposals of the republican congress has pushed to cut taxes by $5
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trillion skewed to the wealthy, can't pay for it. that will add burdens to the middle class to slash education, to slash research and development. >> i'm not suggesting -- >> he could get those votes for those proposals, but they're not the right proposals for the country. >> is there a new proposal, a new plan, something different that will happen in a second obama term, or is this stay the course, is that the message? >> as i told you, the president has a series of specific proposals around education, around energy, around manufacturing. we need a long-term plan, candy. not tag lines for a show like this 30 days before the election. the president has had a view from the beginning about how you lay the foundation for real sustained growth. >> quickly, you're going to make a play for arizona? are you going to spend som money there? do you think you can gett? >> we are always looking, always looking for opportunities, and
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heartened by what we see in some states, not just battleground states. i can't tell you how we will expend resources in the final 30 days. >> david axelrod, thanks for being here. >> good to be with you. >> this election isn't just about the white house. both parties have lots at stake. in senate and governor races, next, governor martin o'malley and senator roy blunt. so we invg you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat. it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class. the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward. but that doesn't mean we should be penalized for it. that's why liberty mutual insurance policies come standard with accident forgiveness, if you qualify. learn more at
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here's a check of today's top stories on the campaign trail. president obama heads to nevada today. he will hold a campaign rally this evening in las vegas. the president is staying in the state until wednesday for debate preparations. their debate is 11 days away, but vice president joe biden and romney running mate paul ryan are already mixing it up at a campaign stop in florida. the vice president said romney's economic plan would hit seniors with more taxes on their social security benefits. ryan fired back at a rally in ohio, accusing biden trying to scare people for political gain. >> joe biden himself voted to raise taxes on social security benefits and as a senator, president obama voted to keep those tax increases in place three times. i want to be very clear about
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this. mitt romney and i will never waiver in our commitment to our seniors. our plans actually saved these programs. >> biden and ryan's one and only debate is next thursday in kentucky. and former republican presidential candidate rick santorum says mitt romney and republicans should support todd akin. he says an akin win is essential for the republican party to win control of the senate. akin is challenging claire mccaskill. he has been criticized after using the term "legitimate rape." our abundant natural gas is already saving us money, producing cleaner electricity, putting us to work here in america and supporting wind and solar. though all energy development comes with some risk, we're committed to safely and responsibly
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o'malley and blunt. we looked at the gross domestic products for this year, downward from 1.7 to 1.3 when they adjusted it, looked back on second quarter. exactly the same as it was last year. the question is are you better off than you were before, but it doesn't look as if we're any better off now than we were last year? it's the exact -- that is instead -- the country were actually gaining jobs as a country. in fact, our private sector last year under president obama's leadership created more private sector jobs than eight years of george w. bush, so i think what all of the economists would agree is that there is steady job creation that's happening. it could happen more quickly if republicans in congress would vote for some of the president's joks -- jobs initiatives. jobs. >> your bottom line is that republicans have stunted the growth of the economy? >> i think they've been trying hard.
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i think they voted against every single jobs initiative the president has sent to the hill, and in an effort to try to slow the economy before the election. they haven't been able to do it. we're still creating jobs instead of losing them as we were under george bush. >> you can't be happy that economic growth is but 1.3% in a quarter is not great. it's growth. i grant you that. but it's the same as it was a year ago. where is the improvement? >> well, when you compound it, i mean, it's -- maryland, for example, we've recovered 70% of the jobs we lost during the bush recession. we haven't recovered all that we lost during the bush recession, but it's clearly headed in a more positive direction than it was before president obama took office. home foreclosures are lower than they were before he took office, and so we're constantly still creating jobs. could do it faster if republicans would stop blocking every jobs initiative on the hill. >> first, i want to play something that your candidate said, and part of the reason there has been this stance on capitol hill is that republicans have been adamant that there
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would be no tax increases that what we actually needed was to retain tax cuts. romney has campaigned, much of the conservatives on i'm going to cut everybody's taxes, but here's what he said recently. >> by the way, don't be expecting a huge cut in taxes, because i'm also going to lower deductions and exemptions, but by bringing your rates down, we'll be able to let small businesses keep more of their money so they can hire more people. >> what do you make of that? sounds like people aren't going to get a tax cut. >> actually, i think that's what the governor has been saying all the time and it's what most republicans have been saying all the time. get the rate down, eliminate the -- a lot of intricacies of the tax code. >> i'm sorry, hasn't he been campaigning on cutting taxes? >> no. he has always said we're going to lower the rate, and we're going to eliminate the complexity of the tax code. that's what he has said consistently. it doesn't mean revenue would go down. it means that people would have some sense that everybody is paying the same thing based on
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the same rules. both at the corporate structure and the individual structure, and i think that's very consistent. in fact, i think that's what the american people want. people are ready -- >> do you know what kind of deductions he is talking about? >> people are ready to take a look at the tax code, and we ought to take advantage of that moment and it should happen next year. >> he is steadfastly not told us whatsoever deductions he is talking about eliminating. do you have any idea what he is talking about, home interest loans, charitable deductions? do you know what he is talking about? >> i think you could look at the corporate code and see all those things that you have some people, little corporations, paying a higher percentage of what anybody would realistically see as profit. other big corporations being able to take more advantage of that broad complicated tax code. i think he is saying let's eliminate that and equalize, let's flatten that tax code in a way that everybody has a sense that everybody is being treated fairly. >> your understanding that
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there will not be a tax cut, there will not be tax cuts, big tax cuts? >> it would reduce the rate and in all likelihood you would maintain the same amount of revenue and, of course, revenue grows and people have more confidence in the economy. they have more confidence in fairness and equity and that the rules are rules they can live with. >> governor o'malley, let me pick your brain as head of the democratic governors association. there are 11 governorships up. right now four of the eight that you're defending look like they could go to republicans. what's wrong here at the state level because the republicans look like they're maintaining and could pick up some of the governorships currently held by democrats. what's going on? >> well, actually we're being greatly outspent in virtually every state, and we are defending 11 states. some of them not in the friendliest of terrains for president obama, but as we saw last year in kentucky, a state that where the president did not prevail, our candidate was all about jobs, all about bringing people together to make the tough decisions to expand the
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economy and create jobs, and we prevailed, so i think you're going to see our candidates come through in this election. >> when you look at, montana, north carolina, washington state, all of those held by democrats, all look very threatened by pretty strong republican races, that's 50% of the seats you're defending. >> right. that's what makes it so exciting. >> yeah, yeah. you look excited. >> you look at some of those states, i mean, in the state of new hampshire where maggie hassen is running very competitively. she follows a republican -- a democratic governor that retired very popular. you look at washington state insy who wrote the book on jobs creation. renewable energy. and it's about wanting to see our country create jobs more quickly and some of those states, quite honestly, are in parts of the country geographically where it is tougher for the top of the ticket. there are other states, however, where we're actually doing very well. i mean, look at ohio. ohio is a state where, granted, it's not this year in the governor's race, but clearly there's a lot of voters,
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particularly among women 23% gender gap in ohio because of the reactionary anti-woman policies of the republican party. >> so you think that the gap isn't that president obama is doing so well. you think it's because they don't like governor kasic? >> in ohio i think it is a combination as john mccain just said, people seeing jobs being created in the auto industry, but they also are able to contrast that very hard policy opposed to lily ledbetter trying to block women from being able to have contraception coverage on their health care policies, and all of those things have led to a much bigger gender gap, particularly in those states now led by hard-core right wing republican governors who have taken their eye off of job creation. >> well, they do have low unemployment rates, as you do, i grant you, but we're looking at governors who have low unemployment rates. senator, let me move to you because the senate -- three months ago i think people would say republicans are going it take over. now it doesn't look as though
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do you think that's a result how well president obama appears to be doing now, 3, 4% lead, or is it that the candidates aren't as good? what happened here? >> well, i think it's still at least 50-50 that republicans take over the senate, and if you look at nebraska, montana, north dakota, wisconsin, i believe it will be a republican seat on election day. >> virginia and in wisconsin both the democrats. >> well, a few days ago the republicans was up. let's see what happens election day. you know, the governor has said a couple of times the election is about republicans who won't let things happen. you know, this election really should be about what happened the first two years of the obama administration, when democrats should have been able to do anything they wanted to do, and now is when that should pay off. we shouldn't be worried about what happened last month and how that impacts the economy because, frankly, we've had no budget, no appropriations bills. the majority in the senate, i think, will change because
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people are tired of a senate that won't do the things that need to be done. >> let me ask you about the state of the race in missouri. this is where you had congressman akin who made a very controversial remark, which you condemn, which others condemn. you, in fact, said at the time we do not believe it serves the we do not believe it sefshz the national interest for congressman todd akin to stay in the race for senate. the issues at stake are too big, and it's simply too important. the right decision is to step aside. as we all know todd akin did not step aside. he is running as the republican. you are looking as though -- the republicans are looking as though they're going to lose that race because akin stayed in it. >> i think at the end of the day that race does largely become a debate about the majority in the senate, harry reid is majority leader. what happens there wr? i think that becomes really big in that race. frankly, i think that anybody else would have been a candidate that clearly would have won, and
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todd very well may win. he is on a ticket at a time when people are looking at a senate that's not doing its work, and the only way to change the senate is to change the majority. >> so you are going to sell it as a party race as opposed to the individual of congressman akin? >> i think it becomes a party race in our state and lots of other places as well as people look at these senate races, and i'm not -- i think they look at them to a great extent independently of whatever has happened in the presidential race, but i think the presidential race is going to be decided by the economy and the economy is not where people want it to be. >> we have a great candidate in missouri named jay nixon. he will be re-elected because he focuses on jobs. >> you are already holding that seat, though. it's the ones you might lose that are worrisome. >> akin is going to lose because of a demonstrated anti-woman policy that they have in the republican party where one month a senator says he will not endorse akin, and then the next month he says he will endorse him. >> what i said was that the national issues are big enough that we need to have a discussion of those issues rather than ones that todd managed to bring to the table.
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>>hich hopefully will be more favorable than the ones that he brought up. >> it's about the majority and let's see how todd does. >> senator blunt, governor o'malley, thank you. governor romney steps up his attack on president obama's economy. is romney on the right path to get back in the race? [ male announcer ] this is rudy. his morning starts with arthritis pain. and two pills. afternoon's overhaul starts with more pain. more pills. triple checking hydraulics. the evening brings more pain. so, back to more pills. almost done, when... hang on. stan's doctor recommended aleve. it can keep pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol.
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each campaign is different, but every campaign running behind in the stretch shares distinct markings. a candidate with rougher rhetoric. >> what is the path the president has proposed which is the status quo? his is the path of, well, he calls it forward. i call it forewarned, all right? they have not worked. >> an itinerary with a faster pace. >> we're in toledo, right? >> we've got to win in virginia. >> we're going to win pennsylvania. >> and the campaign getting lots and lots of outside critiques. >> the romney campaign has yet to find a way of explaining itself and laying out in a clear, crisp way the difference between romney and obama, and i think that, frankly, is a problem. >> need we say it? mitt romney is behind. polls show he lags president
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obama both nationwide and in key battleground states where the races are either tight or obama holds a clear edge. heightening the urgency, early voting is underway in 30 states, including wisconsin, iowa, new hampshire, virginia, and north carolina, and it starts tuesday in ohio and florida. the romney campaign looks to find its footing in the next 37 days. that's next with alex castellano, dana bash, and celinda lake. a little bit more vanilla? this is great! [ male announcer ] at humana, we believe there's never been a better time to share your passions... because the results... are you having fun doing this? yeah. that's a very nice cake! [ male announcer ] well, you can't beat them. [ giggles ] ohh! you got something huh? whoa... [ male announcer ] humana understands the value of spending time together that's a lot of work getting that one in! let's go see the birdies. [ male announcer ] one on one, sharing what you know. let's do it grandpa. that's why humana agents will sit down with you,
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so i brought it to mike at meineke. we gave her car a free road handling check. i like free. free is good. my money. my choice. my meineke. joining me around the table senior congressional correspondent dana bash, democratic pollster celinda lake and republican strategist, alex castellanos. i want to set up how you feel about the debates with a quick sound from newt gingrich and how he views the importance of these debates. >> it has to be campaign of contrast, not attack. >> right. >> part of the contrast has to be disarming the president. because if the president is believable -- this is where clinton was so good. if the president is believable at the end of the first debate, there's a very high likelihood is he going to get re-elected. >> whoa. not just the debate, but the first debate. do you agree? >> sure. i think the first debate is
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critical because this is their first chance -- our first chance to see the two gladiators in their arena alone, so how they -- who is the alpha dog in this debate? that's what we want to see. if you can't beat the other guy, how can you lead the country? >> you think mitt romney could lose it in this first debate, do you agree? >> i think that the debates are really tough for the incumbent. i think there's a big study done by the -- no, they show the challengers win the debates because it's the first time -- >> john mccain -- >> they had an advantage. >> this isn't a challenger that knows his way around a couple of words. he is very eloquent. he has done debates. i just think when you are standing next to the president, you have to be careful how you go about being the alpha male. >> well, that is a really good point, and one of the problems i think with the mitt romney campaign is he has been too much on the attack and not telling the american people where are we going to go? he won't even tell you what tax deductions he is going to take away. >> you know this, candy.
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you have been doing this for a long time. these debates are important yes, for the one-liners that may or may not happen, but it's also that comfort level, that comfort level that voters have or don't have with these candidates. according to the polls, pretty much every one of them, the people who the romney campaign need to bring over don't have that comfort. whether it's because of the 47% it doesn't feel like me, whatever, that's what mitt romney really needs to get across, and that's what his advisors know. >> let's play something real quick because i want to get your comment on that, and this is mitt romney sort of talking about his message for swing state voters. >> i have been across this country. my heart aches for the people i have seen, and the difference between me and president obama is i know what to do and i will do what it takes to get this economy going. >> see, to me that's the two things mitt romney has to do. be someone they really like, feel their pain. by the way, remind them that
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you're a ceo and you can fix the economy. are they -- are those two different messages he has to get across in one debate? >> those are two different messages, and we've had an opportunity all through this campaign to get to know mitt romney better, and a debate -- he hasn't done it yet. he hasn't warmed up. it's putting a big burden on him to do it there. what he can do in this debate is lead, show us what he would do as president the next four years. obama has had a chance to do that, and he has not done it. his message seems to be i've done the best that i can. hang on, it's going to get better. just don't go back. romney, his candidacy has a -- his canvas has a blank space there. he can do that. this is a rare political event where both candidates are the underdogs. >> it is hard in debate to show your likability skills. >> the other thing hard for mitt
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romney, he seems weird to people, they can't relate to them, doesn't seem in touch with their lives, particularly for women voters. if you're an attack dog in the debate -- >> that's the difference between being an attack dog and drawing contrast on where you lead the country. bill clinton was likeable and did that in debate. that's not mitt romney's strength, why should he try to do it there. >> we have a lot of recent history with mitt romney at debates. sure, sometimes he blows it, betting $10,000, other times he has really come back and done quite well and he has stepped up to the occasion. but it is mixed. there's a mixed bag. having said that, it is a completely different arena, the romney campaign knows that, debating eight, ten, six on stage and going head to head with the president. >> when you look at the race as a whole, want to read you something from the national journal in a thing called defying gravity. talked about how everybody thinks the economy is bad, the
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country is going in the wrong direction and they wrote perhaps most concerning for romney, obama is winning a healthy share of votes from people who think he has steered the country off course. one out of four obama supporters in recent all state national journal heartland monitor poll said the country was on the wrong track but they're voting for the president anyway. that's what defying gravity looks like. why are they voting anyway, because of mitt romney or because they like the president so much? >> there's a 60% wrong track, 60% of americans think we are headed in the wrong direction. they would like a door out of the room. they think obama is a nice guy, they don't know that mitt romney is the door out of the room. mitt romney hasn't made the case to say look we're going to do something different than in washington the past 30 years, take money out of that economy, put it in yours, do something different. people want change, but if you won't get change, you'll take security. >> a majority voters approve the job the president is doing, economic confidence is soaring, those are the two indicators.
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people know we were in a deep hole and people believe this president has laid out a plan to get us going, and he'll get everybody going, not just half the country. he is going to be a president for all of america. >> they're talking about people that think it is going in the wrong direction, that he has done the wrong thing. >> the reservoir, what the president has had since day one when all his numbers were high. even when his numbers were and have been low, he always had that likability, that's a res r rest -- >> that's a big part of it. the other part is girls and politicians get prettier at closing time. as we get closer to the election, you know, well, i am not going to go for mitt romney, hasn't made his case, i am waiting. if i go for obama, i think the economy is improving. >> alex castellanos, i am going to go back and listen do what
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you said about girls, not sure i like it. thanks for being here. different answers to one question. who won the week? that's next. e are a million rea. e are a million rea. but your erectile dysfunction that could be a question of blood flow. cialis for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph, like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity. do not take cialis if you take nitrates for chest pain, as this may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. do not drink alcohol in excess with cialis. side effects may include headache, upset stomach, delayed backache or muscle ache. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. if you have any sudden decrease or loss in hearing or vision, or if you have any allergic reactions such as rash, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, or difficulty breathing or swallowing, stop taking cialis and get medical help right away.
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and finally this sunday we asked some of cnn's political
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junkies to help put a period on the show with a simple question. who won this week. you'd be surprised because we were. >> the comeback kid is back. i think it's pretty hard to argue that bill clinton isn't the winner of the week. >> a few words from bill clinton can do a man a lot of good. >> he offered praise for the president even though he's become a top surrogate for barack obama. >> i told folks i'm just supposed to be eye candy for the week. >> i think who won were the ladies of "the view" and president obama who chose to meet with a handful of powerful women with a lot of sway. and a lot of of influence on american votes. >> local television states in key battleground states are winners. it continues to be ramping up. >> obama wages war on coal while we lose jobs to china. >> all those ads mean lots of revenue for the tv stations. >> mitt romney has the advantage
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because he's been through 20 debates in the primaries. >> the win over the week seems to be the other guy, that is if you're looking through the lens of the presidential debate prep. beth meyers says he's one of the most talented communicators in modern history. >> this week's winner were democrats in ohio. here's why. the new poll shows barack obama beating romney by 10 points. >> obama had a pretty good week in the polls in ohio and florida but the real winner this week, the nfl football fans. >> the temps are out. the old referees are back in. and if the referees won, i think nfl fans won. >> now they can stop complaining about the replacement refs and start complaining about the regular refs. >> nfl referees, they had the best week and they're good unlike those replacement refs, they are bad. maybe nieo


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